IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN
Easter Sunday is on April 5th this year but chocolate bunnies and Easter candy is already appearing in stores across the land. One store I went to before Christmas even had those Cadburry Mini Eggs on sale.
As much as I love those chocolates, as well as all the bunny-themed items on sale, one aspect of Easter gets me down. Far too many under-aged rabbits are sold to gullible parents who have no clue how to look after these creatures.
The scenario is almost exactly the same in households across North America. The parents buy a bunny from a breeder or pet store. Then the kids won’t look after him or her. The rabbit soon is put in the back yard in a tiny hutch. The parents quickly tire of caring for the one-time kids pet. Either the defenseless animal is dumped in the park or surrendered to an over-crowded animal shelter. Often times, the family dog or some passing predator frightens the bunny to death. Next year, many of the brainless parents will buy another hapless animal for their whining brood.
In the past decade or two, animal welfare proponents have advocated for rabbits to be treated with the care that dogs and cats receive. They spend considerable time and effort reaching out to people through the media. Often times, they set up booths at pet shops to warn potential bunny owners of what they need to do to have a long and happy experience with their rabbit.
To the warnings from many worthy causes, some folks are just stuck on stupid. They hear all the public service announcements on such important matters as drunk driving and distracted motoring, yet they figure that’s for other people. The same sadly holds true for warnings about rabbits at Easter.
If you feel tempted by breeders or pet shops to buy that cute little bunny, STOP! Visit House Rabbit Society and study all the information you’ll need to decide if a bunny is for you and your family. As with any animal, rabbits need to be spayed and neutered. They require a special diet that will prolong their lives and keep them healthy. They can also be litter trained. Furthermore, bunnies aren’t treated by every veterinarian but by the ones specializing in exotic animals.
I also have written a memoir of my experience with rabbits who lived in my home. The paperback is filled with humorous stories and surprising facts about these long-eared companions. Check out When a Man Loves a Rabbit at Bruce Atchison’s books page.